Investors with $1.6 trillion in assets push Congress to back paid leave
Today over 100 investors representing over $1.6 trillion released a letter calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive and permanent federal paid family and medical leave program by the end of 2021. The letter, organized by Trillium and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), was supported by domestic and global asset management firms, state treasurers’ offices and pension and faith-based funds, and makes the economic case for passing a federal paid family and medical leave policy as a part of the BuildBack Better budget legislation pending in Congress.
Dear U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and Members of Congress,
As the letter outlines, today’s inequitable access to paid leave forces millions of working people to make the impossible choice between deciding to care for a family member or their own health and earning a paycheck. A disproportionate number of these workers are women, people of color, essential workers, and low-wage workers.
Paid leave programs serve as a vital tool for protecting the economic security and stability of both businesses and employees, particularly during times of crisis such as the current pandemic. As Trillium Director of Shareholder Advocacy Kate Monahan said in a press release, “The pandemic brought home the serious risks frontline workers face and highlighted the domino effects a lack of worker protections can have on business productivity and the economy. A federal paid leave policy would provide an essential safeguard that would increase worker retention, morale, and productivity which is why it is supported by investors, the Business Roundtable, and hundreds of businesses, large and small.” A recently released report from PL+US (Paid Leave for the U.S.) and Promundo, in collaboration with the Parental Leave Corporate Task Force, found that over 75% of companies believed a national paid leave policy would better position them to weather public health emergencies and economic crises. In recent months, hundreds of brands and business leaders have publicly advocated for a comprehensive paid family and medical leave policy to be included in federal legislation focused on securing the nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery and long-term economic growth
A federal paid leave policy would harmonize what is now a patchwork of state programs and would play a critical role in stemming the tide of women leaving the workforce and fostering gender equity, which would in turn bolster our economy. Ultimately, creating a permanent and comprehensive federal paid family and medical leave program will help secure a baseline of economic security for working families and help us to build a more equitable, resilient economy. As investors, we believe that our portfolio companies and the U.S. economy as a whole would benefit from the support, standardization, and stability paid leave would offer working families.
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Advocacy Impact Report - Second Half 2021
Trillium considers it fundamental to our mission and our fiduciary responsibility to engage with the companies that we hold in our portfolios to press for positive change that we believe will help improve ESG policies, performance, or impact. Learn more about our recent engagement activities.